Thursday, 24 November 2011

Cleanliness Immaculate

We cannot and must not perform Salaah unless and until we are in a state of total cleanliness. “He or she who turns to Allah, must be pure in soul, body and clothing.” The place where we stand for Salaah must also be clean.

Cleanliness is the shedding of filth and every kind of sordidness and squalor from our bodies and our clothes. Total cleanliness is highly esteemed in Islam. In Surath al Baq’r a we are assured that Allah loves as His friends those who seek His pardon most often as also those who are in a state of high cleanliness.

This is also reiterated in the Hadith: “To remain in a state of cleanliness is part of our Eemaan (faith) and Cleanliness is the key to perfection in Salaah”. and “Allah accepts no prayer from anyone who smells (and is unclean) unless ablution is performed (and cleanliness restored).”

Ablution here means a full bath or a partial one, the Wudu, whichever is rendered essential as a prerequisite to Salaah and recitation of the Holy Qur’an.

The following stipulations set forth in detail, the standards and procedure for being clean and well groomed for salaah, recitation of the Holy Qur’an and dua’yaen to Allahu Sub’hanahu va tha aalaa.

In modern terms, we are generally satisfying these requirements in our daily life. A daily bath is a routine that we do not miss. If we complete this bath with a formal wudu (ablution), we have groomed ourselves perfectly for salaah and duaayaen and can recite the Holy Qur’an from the Holy Book itself. This state of cleanliness is terminated by a restroom break. We can then perform wudu and be ready for prayer.

While it is ideal to be in a state of wudu always, the Holy Prophet S.A.W.S. himself declined to endorse it. The Holy Prophet S.A.W.S has informed us that Islam is the easiest religion to practice. We must not make it hard on people the way earlier Ummah’s had done.
This is yet another facet of the moderation that Islam stands for.  It is enough if we perform wudu and maintain this state of cleanliness when we stand up for salaah.

We need to  understand what is meant by the term “jana’bah”. It is the rather unclean condition that comes over us after any form of sexual indulgence or foreplay that results in discharge of semen.  Both parties are now barred from Salaah, handling the Holy Qur’an or even reciting the  Holy Book.  A full path must be had as soon as possible to come out of “jana’bah”  and resume Islami life.

For women only: the menstrual, postmenstrual and postnatal periods render them unclean.  Islam does not permit their segregation within or outside  the house on this score. They may wait for the cessation of bleeding and related discharges and then have a full bath and resume salaah, recitation of  Holy Qur’an and duayaen. 

But there is no bar to their performing household duties such as cooking, house cleaning, feeding and taking care of children and handling cash and accounts.  There is no segregation of women on this score.

The utmost importance is attached to keeping our bodies and our clothing free of stains of urine.  Cleaning with tissues is permitted.  It is better to complete this with a few drops of water.

When we have on our person or on our clothes any of the following: blood, urine, fecal matter, offal, any porcine stuff.or any other impurity (from humans, animals or birds) of the size of a coin or more, Salaah cannot be performed without first washing it away and performing Wudu (ablution).

The urine and feces of babes-in-arms are also included in this category.  However, if the impurity is in liquid or semiliquid form and its spread is less than the size of a coin, (it may be washed away and) Salaah  may be performed without seeking fresh Wudu.

The “Najasath-e-Khafeefa” are impurities of the above kind (except the droppings of small halal birds) and if they have affected more than a quarter of our clothes or body, total cleaning and Wudu are called for.